To Taxi or Ride-share?: Limiting Government’s Role
by Kelii Akina, Grassroot Institute, April 18, 2015
Across the nation, a “horizontal” battle between taxi cab companies and emerging ride-share networks such as Uber and Lyft is unfolding. Unfortunately, a profound “vertical” battle, can be overlooked – and that is the battle between the free market and government over-regulation. Asked where Grassroot stands, we are promoters of the free market.
There are many heroes of the free market in the taxi industry who have struggled for decades to cut a path through government over-regulation. There are also emerging entrants to the market via ride-sharing who are seeking a place.
Unfortunately, government regulation can be wielded as a tool to favor or oppose selected competitors. Legislators should, therefore, be urged to limit regulation to what is minimally necessary to ensure the public safety and welfare. And these regulations should then be applied equitably to taxi and ride-sharing companies and drivers.
As a principle, government regulation should not be used to decide the contest between market competitors. After all, the consumer should be king, not the government. When the free market works to this end, competitive businesses become even more competitive, and consumers gain more and better choices.